I've been very blessed lately in the realm of fun projects; this is one of them.
The Rabbits Foot is a finless surfboard that's been a really fun project between some finless-fanatics; Dan Malloy came to me with a half-started project that Dan was calling the Rabbits Foot, it was under way and there was a solid and very interesting design theory but it needed to be executed and wrapped up. I shaped and glassed the little monster with a substantial question mark in my head about it...then he and Trevor surfed it and the project had some legs to run on!
The orange board here is the second version, keeping the same basic design elements and altering the package pretty heavily, when compared with a discerning eye. Version 2 went to Trevor Gordon who got some really fun results, this video is a session in small waves, though this version seems to perform best on bigger waves. There are 2 other variations so far, Ryan Burch owns one, and Michael Kew owns the last. Another is in the works and will be heading with me to Australia shortly.
Cheyne & his custom 8'er with 3/8" tight-grain cedar stringer and a rather warm yellow tint, approved!
Cheyne sent me a text the other day:
"Duuuuuuuuuuuddddeeeeeeee gonna be honest kinda got a bad first impression on the vbowls riding it too much like a hull...Let me tell you just had one of the best surfs I've had in a long time.... Thing holds a mean cutback!"
At least once a week someone calls me or emails me after getting a good session in on a new v.Bowls; I've heard the term, "changed my life" more times in the past two months than I can believe..
Brandon DiPierri has been hanging 'round at the shop lately, yesterday afternoon he shot this pretty one of me and Herbert working on a 7'4 gun...yew! He also sent along a shot he took of the stamp that I use on all of my shapes, I enjoy pushing something into the foam vs. only writing with pencil on it, this is the tool that I use to do that, you'll find it stamped under my signature on every board I've built in the past number of years, today I shaped # 813:
As if this and the coming few weeks wasn't slammed with enough excitement and blog-worthy stuff, check out the new trailer for the Tyler Warren Experiments!
I had the pleasure of meeting Jon Smart after all this time a few months back, super friendly dude and we shared some little peelers in the dark at Rincon...I met Tyler a few years back when I smashed my head open on some rocks, also at rincon, so that was interesting..
I can assure that both are un. real. guys.
I'm flattered and stoked to be able to contribute a rather unique craft to their journey, scope the Flex Spoon action amongst aaaaall this shred, yeeeeeHEW!
The other evening I got a little fire to shape a special little board for the Australia shape-cation coming up, I figured last years trip changed my life so heavily that I ought to build a board for this years trip with what I've learned since last time...I ended up at 8'3" x 23" x 3" and very thinly foiled...v.Bowls esque in foil and concept, with a few modifications to offer a little different kind of groove. Volan all around w/deck patch, abstract Sherbert bottom with white tinted deck...my my my, she's a looker and feels juuuuuust right under my arm, I'm frothing on this one!
I'll be bringing this one, my 8' v.Bowls and 7'4" Pocket Pleaser...a nice round quiver of round boards!
8'2" x 20" x 2 3/4" Gun. This is my first foray into big-wave gun territory and I'm pretty enthused on the subject! Its a humbling thing to be asked to build, considering where and what these boards are intended for. I took a lot of time and consideration in preparing to shape this one, where other times I'm more chomping at the bit, I paced myself on this one and allowed for the board to settle in as I was going through the motions.
I got pretty giddy when Chadd asked me to make him an 8'2" gun for double to triple overhead waves; namely a few local ones but to be used wherever and whenever necessary (mr.Konig spends much of his time searching out much bigger waves than the rest of us. And, equally as interesting, spends a large percentage of his time getting into all sorts of activism work in foreign lands as well as local ones...pretty good gig). He had basic dimensions for me to work from at my discretion and gave me a broken board of his that he really liked, I asked him to write down any input or preferences in design/shape on a scrap of paper for me...Later I looked at it and it read, "Have freedom in your creations."
I was deep in the shop all day yesterday and didn't have a chance to get around my phone; When I checked in on it I had 4 missed calls from him. On the drive home, #5 came in and I thought I ought to spend a minute and see what was so exciting...I answered and got an enthusiastic "YEEEEEEAH BUDDY!" on the other end. "I haven't ridden them all but I reckon this is the best surfboard you've ever made!" I was floored and 10 hours in the shop faded into my memory.
"In 2007 my most marvelous mother printed out the Myspace page I had made to show myself to the world, the page I chose to represent who I was at the time and the things I cared about. SHe put it in an envelope marked "do not read until 2010." Well its 2012 and it just happened to reappear in her office. Sentiments have changed little, though I can't deny that I have changed a lot. This is what I wrote "About Me" unedited.
What I need is a beatdown. You know, to come up gasping a little. To get disoriented. I need to feel my heart race as I push myself over the lip into a backless pit. To feel scared and giddy at the same time. T0 be anxious about getting tossed around under water. I need that unchecked power that comes with being a winter masochist in neoprene. I need all that. My lungs are bored with freeway driving and TV shows. They've been sedated by late nights and leisure. They long to be stretched to the point of popping. They need water like they need air, but the winter has hardly delivered. No rain, few waves and no near drownings. Just bright unadulterated serenity and beauty. It's been neighbors smiling and asking, "God, how beautiful has it been?" while I scowl and beg for a thunderclap. Looking for anything to wake the sleeping Northern Pacific. Any whisper of a storm. Because when the stillness ceases and mother nature roars back from her coma with unrelenting rain and wind I'll find my comfort zone. I'll trot down to greet her with butterflies and a thick leash. Only then, when all the dog walkers, jogging girls and potato chip riding pussies run for shelter, will I get my beat down. And when I do there won't be anywhere I'd rather be."
I met Miles years ago through an interesting string of events and emails, when be purchased what was the first board I built to be sold to a customer unknown to me. I built boards for a couple of years for customers that I met through word of mouth before I let a board go for "stock", and when it did it was in the form of a brand new board that I placed for sale in the used room at the Beach House. On that info board's card I wrote a few paragraph explanation about the board, where it came from and it's intended purpose. I wrote that the owner, whoever it may be, is asked to contact me with feedback on the board via email and to keep in touch as he/she got to know the board. It was the second board that I had shaped that later was named the O.G., a greenough-kneeboard-templated hull that had a rather unique bottom shape and template and has become outrageously popular with intro-to-hull-guys. I wanted to know if the board worked as well for a stranger as it did for me, so the second one was built to a test subject as I saw it.
Miles bought that board, and months later after numerous trips and adventures, he wrote me a detailed email about his experience with the board so far. Years later he is still one of my closest friends, and hoarder of a small pile of surfboards built throughout the years. It made me very happy to read his recent blog post.
I made Ryan a Rabbits Foot for going left a couple weeks back so he cruised up and we had a nice little adventure weekend searching out backwards waves for him to test it on. So far I've made about 5 of these little guys, each with a few tweaks on the overall concept of the design. Burch's is the most severe and complex to date; though compared to other finless designs rather understated in my opinion. What I'm after is a clean finless board, with one or two major elements vs. 657 channels running all over the board...so far so very good.
His extremely photographically talented brother, mr.Will Adler, sent me over a clip of Travers this week on the v.bowls so I pulled this frame grab from it which makes me very happy. Travers exudes a stoke and enthusiasm that, so far in my life, is unmatched and serves as a healthy reminder to get amped. The sensibilities and subtleness in Will's work shows Travers' style, attitude and weirdness at it's purest. Seeing what comes from these two's adventures together is one of my greatest joys in my present life and I get all kinds of giddy when I see a note from Will containing the goods!
Praises to the brothers Adler, I'm glad that Morgan's video this week gave the surf world a little injection of happiness and stoke!
When Rodrigo ordered his 8' v.Bowls, I asked the time-old question, "What are you thinking on colors?" to which he effortlessly replied, "Of course, its all in your power...whatever you feel like."
I admit I took a bit of a risk on this one, but when it was all put together as one surfy-craft, I fell in love.
After spending some back home in Washington a few months ago I couldn't keep myself from using the four most basic Northwest-Native-American-art colors on a board, and Rodrigo said the magic words..
The translucent white pigment deck over the dark abstract rails looks so insane in person. You can just barely see the abstract details through it's milky complexion (zoom in on the detail shot of the deck above).
I'm pretty proud of this one, it could have gone horribly wrong and went so far the opposite way that Rodrigo was shaking when he picked it up :)
Mr.Travers Adler, making the world fall in love with him, shot and edited by one Morgan Maassen. You can also catch a whiff of his stylings in the neat little header on this very blog. More very tasty Travers treats coming soon!